WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – The international community must do more to tackle the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Monday, publicly calling on the World Bank to accelerate its lending to hard-hit African countries.

FILE PHOTO: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks during a conference hosted by the Vatican on economic solidarity, at the Vatican, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Some of the key events of the virtual and elongated annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank take place this week, with the most pressing issue how to support struggling countries.

“We are going to continue to push to do even more,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said during an online FT Africa summit.

“I would beg for also more grants for African countries. The World Bank has grant-giving capacity. Perhaps you can do even more… and bilateral donors can do more in that regard,” Georgieva said in an unusual public display of discord between the two major international financial institutions.

No immediate comment was available from the Bank.

Georgieva last week said the IMF had provided $26 billion in fast-track support to African states since the start of the crisis, but a dearth of private lending meant the region faced a financing gap of $345 billion through 2023.

The pandemic, a collapse in commodity prices and a plague of locusts have hit Africa particularly hard, putting 43 million more people at risk of extreme poverty, according to World Bank estimates. African states have reported more than 1 million coronavirus cases and some 23,000 deaths.

G20 governments are expected to extend for six months their Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) which has so far frozen around $5 billion of poorer countries’ debt payments, but pressure is

“I don’t know how we could have explained to the public that we didn’t go to the limit of what we can do. History will judge how well we did.” Jerome Powell, October 6, 2020

Decisions have been taken and, as it happens, the right decisions were taken, big enough, bold enough, well-targeted; now we need to focus on execution. The original CARES Act – its timeliness, design and size – is something we all should be proud of. It saved households and it saved businesses, and of course it saved markets. What people don’t recognize, in Congress and in the White House, is that execution is on-going, and unfortunately not optimized – there is still $1.8 trillion or more in original CARES Act authorizations that are available to assist the Main Street economy. The Fed – never designed to interact with Main Street – has raised the alarm, and now should focus on targeted action. The place for them to direct their attention first is infrastructure, including states and municipalities, companies and especially great projects.

For our purposes the injection of a significant portion of these funds into infrastructure projects and networks – say $500 billion over the next three years – would be enormously valuable, reviving the infrastructure market, setting us on a smart path to the future, and providing Main Street with a good, long, runway into that future.  

This investment in states and municipalities, and into the companies that design, build and maintain waterworks, highways, transit systems and airports, would be an instant jolt of electricity to our economy. It would also create long-term physical assets that would make our lives better. Public works are different from travel and hospitality – in infrastructure the bleeding

(Bloomberg) — General Electric Co. warned that it’s likely to face U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission allegations of accounting misdeeds, setting back Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp’s effort to put the company’s rocky past behind it.

a close up of a sign: A logo is displayed on a wind turbine used for training and research outside of the General Electric Co. (GE) energy plant in Greenville, South Carolina, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. General Electric Co. is scheduled to release earnings figures on January 20.

© Bloomberg
A logo is displayed on a wind turbine used for training and research outside of the General Electric Co. (GE) energy plant in Greenville, South Carolina, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. General Electric Co. is scheduled to release earnings figures on January 20.

GE received a Wells notice Sept. 30 advising that the SEC may pursue a civil enforcement action over possible securities violations tied to an old insurance business, according to a company regulatory filing Tuesday. The agency has yet to decide whether to recommend action on issues related to GE’s power-equipment business that are also under investigation.


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The Wells notice reopens old wounds from a previously disclosed SEC investigation just as the company is trying to restart a turnaround upended by the coronavirus pandemic. In early 2018, about six months after Culp predecessor John Flannery took over from Jeffrey Immelt, GE disclosed a $6.2 billion charge related to an insurance portfolio of long-term care policies and said it would pay $15 billion over seven years to fill a shortfall in reserves.

“Most investors seem to believe that the government ultimately is likely to slap GE with a nominal fine. However, the matter could also result in more significant consequences,” John Inch, an analyst at Gordon Haskett, said in a note to clients.

“The largest risk(s) could pertain to GE’s possible future requirement to restate past financials and/or incur additional write-offs — potentially materially squeezing the trajectory for a return to higher future reported profitability,” Inch said.

GE Is Still Haunted by ‘$15 Billion Problem’: Brooke Sutherland



General Electric said in a filing Tuesday it’s been notified by the Securities and Exchange Commission that the agency may take civil action against the struggling industrial conglomerate for possible violations of securities laws following a two-year investigation.

Key Facts

According to the filing, SEC staff issued a Wells Notice to GE on September 30 in connection with possible violations of securities laws, specifically with respect to lending arm GE Capital’s accounting practices for certain insurance operations, as well as the relevant disclosures.

A Wells notice is not a formal allegation nor a finding of wrongdoing, but rather a notification from the SEC that the regulator is preparing to bring a civil enforcement action or administrative proceeding against a company; it gives the target of the probe an opportunity to respond before the SEC makes a final determination.

GE stock took a hit on Tuesday after the announcement, ending the day down 3.7%.

The SEC is still investigating GE for a slew of other alleged accounting malpractices, including its revenue recognition practices and handling of financial reporting related to long-term service agreements.

SEC staff has yet to recommend any action with respect to other matters under investigation, the filing notes.

GE says it is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

Key Background

The Tuesday filing is the latest development in a mess of regulatory scrutiny that GE has faced since at least 2009, when the firm agreed to pay $50 million to settle SEC charges alleging it misled investors by reporting false and misleading results in its financial statements. The current investigation dates back to a January 2018 financial disclosure, in which GE revealed a $6.2 billion insurance loss dating back more than a decade–an event that triggered the SEC’s investigation by the

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s staff has advised General Electric that it is considering legal action against the company for possible violations of securities laws, found during the agency’s investigation into the way GE accounted for costs associated with its now discontinued long-term care insurance business.

GE disclosed on Tuesday that it received a “Wells notice” last week from the SEC’s staff t that they may recommend the full commission bring a formal complaint soon.

The SEC has been investigating several accounting issues at the Boston-based company, including the discontinued insurance business and GE’s revenue recognition practices, particularly with regard to long-term service agreements.

This Wells notice specifically refers to an investor update in January 2018, in which GE revealed it would take a $6.2 billion charge and contribute up to $15 billion to reserves over a seven-year period for its North American Life & Health business. The insurer had underestimated how much it would cost to pay the care of policy holders who lived longer than expected, a miscalculation compounded by low interest rates.

North American Life & Health stopped writing new policies in 2006, but by that point had reinsured about 300,000 long-term care policies.

The company’s then-chief financial officer, Jamie Miller, disclosed on an earnings call in 2018 that the SEC was investigating the process that led to that insurance reserve increase and the one-time charge, as well as revenue recognition and controls for long-term contracts.

Later in 2018, GE disclosed that the SEC expanded its investigation to include GE’s Power business, after GE reported a $22 billion impairment charge related to that business, largely over a decline in the value of the power-related businesses it acquired from Alstom in 2015.

GE said in its latest statement that it continues to provide documents and other information requested